A nutritional substance made from a compound naturally-occurring in plant and animal cells; commercial versions are often made from soy flour mixed with soy lecithin oil. Lecithin is available at natural food stores; It comes either granulated or as a liquid, the liquid form is most common. Lecithin is a natural dough enhancer; it produces a softer loaf, extends shelf life, and improves rising. Replace 1 tablespoon of oil with 1 tablespoon of lecithin (for 3 cups of flour) in bread recipes.
Selecting and Buying
The lecithin is removed from soybean oil by injecting the oil with water, and then separating the lecithin-water mixture from the oil in a centrifuge (like the spin cycle in your washing machine), and drying the lecithin.
A little liquid lecithin (soy oil containing lecithin) is mixed with soy flour. Basically liquid lecithin (containing only 10% phosphatidylcholine) is added back to the soybean it was extracted from. This product is then extruded and looks like a small rabbit pellet about the size in diameter of a cake decorating sprinkle.
Preparation and Use
It's used in cooking as an emulsifier, preservative, lubricant, and moisturizer. It's a healthful substitute for fat in baked goods, adding moisture and improving texture. Bakers use it as a dough enhancer because it helps give yeast breads more of a rise.
Conserving and Storing
For home storage, keeping sealed in containers with tight fitting lids is often the best method for keeping grain fresh, especially when the container of grain is stored in a cool, dry, and dark location. A sealed container is very important for maintaining freshness and reducing the possibility of infestations.